SoftBank to sell Paytm shares worth USD 200 mn as lock-in period ends

The share sale, which is expected to be executed tomorrow, will fetch SoftBank Rs 1,629 crore or $200 million at the lower end of the price band. 

Published: 17th November 2022 08:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2022 08:04 AM   |  A+A-

SoftBank Group (Photo | AFP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: One of Paytm’s leading investors, SoftBank, is looking to sell nearly USD 200 million worth of shares in the firm as the mandatory pre-IPO investors’ lock-in period expires. Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank is offering 29 million shares in One97 Communications, which operated the brand Paytm, via block deal at Rs 555 to Rs 601.45 apiece -- a discount of nearly 8 per cent to the current market price.

The share sale, which is expected to be executed tomorrow, will fetch SoftBank Rs 1,629 crore or $200 million at the lower end of the price band. 

Bank of America is the sole broker for the block deal. Soft Bank’s investment in Paytm is said to be in negative as the latter’s shares have fallen 70 per cent when compared to its IPO issue price. The Japanese investment giant, which itself is struggling due to a sharp sell-off in technology stocks worldwide, had invested USD 1.6 billion and held about 17.5 per cent in Paytm as of September 30. The value of a 17.5 per cent stake in Paytm is now pegged at USD 900 million.

Other top investors in Paytm include Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Elevation Capital and its largest and very early investor -- China’s Alibaba Group. The stake sale comes even as Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the digital payments firm’s founder and CEO, in a note to shareholders said they are on the path to profitability and free cash flow.

ALSO READ | SoftBank Q2 net profit boosted by sales of Alibaba shares

“We are scaling the lending distribution which can bring financial inclusion to hundreds and millions of people in the country. Due to the huge demand for lending in our country, our low penetration and the compounding nature of the lending journey, we are extremely optimistic about the prospects of our lending business,” Sharma said.

Shares of Paytm fell after the mandatory pre-IPO investors’ lock-in period expired on November 15. Paytm fell over 4% to close the Wednesday session at Rs 601 on the BSE. Anchor investors holding shares of the company since its mega Rs 18,300-crore IPO are now allowed to off-load their holdings. This unlocks 86% of Paytm’s shares that were locked for one year.


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